Luke Clemente, GE Digital Energy general manager for metering and sensing systems for business, notes, “Today the world is facing energy challenges like never before. For example, Australia’s electricity rates have risen 60 percent the past 10 years, and the Middle East has some of the highest energy consumption in the world. As the demand for efficient, reliable energy grows, utilities are adopting advanced grid technologies to help meet these challenges. With the new IEC smart meter, GE can play a key role in helping energy constrained regions realize the benefits of a modernized grid.”
GE reports that its new family of meters will “set the stage for intelligent grid applications and open the door to effectively manage distributed generation and aggregated load control.”
Key features of the meters, which meet the International Electrotechnical Commission’s metering standards in Australia and the Middle East, include: ability to support multiple grid applications; modularity, scalability and flexibility; improved energy efficiency; enhanced access to multi-utility measurements for electricity, water and gas; and relay and multi-element configurations for application flexibility.
In other news, GE has also announced an agreement to supply 23 megawatts (MW) of advanced solar equipment to Invenergy, which will install the solar equipment at its Grand Ridge Solar project currently under construction in Illinois. When completed in mid-2012, Grand Ridge Solar will be the largest solar farm in the Midwest.
Located in La Salle County, Illinois, the Grand Ridge Solar site is adjacent to the company’s Grand Ridge Wind project. Invenergy, a leading clean energy company and the nation’s largest independent wind power generation company, owns and operates Grand Ridge Wind, where 140 of GE’s 1.5 MW series wind turbines are providing 210 MW of power.
Michael Polsky, Invenergy’s president and chief executive officer, notes, “As we look to continue the expansion of our clean energy portfolio, advancements in technology have made solar a more competitive solution. Having installed over 1,500 of GE’s wind turbines at projects across the United States, integrating GE’s solar technology is a natural fit.”